March 14, 2019
Rhode Island 76, La Salle 57
COACH DAVID COX: Well, I thought that was a tremendous all-around effort by our team today. I want to give a lot of credit to La Salle program and Ashley Howard, who I think is a tremendous young coach. He had those guys fighting all the way till the end.
I through our guys stuck to the game plan today. On offense we played with tremendous pace. We shared the basketball with 17 assists, and then defensively, we limited their paint touches and forced them into shooting quite a few three pointers which were contested. It was 35 three-point attempts, which we didn't necessarily think was their game or what they needed to do to win.
Great job following the game plan and, you know, now we live to see another day.
Q. Cyril, what does this game mean to you coming off a game like this playing against a tough team like La Salle?
CYRIL LANGEVINE: It means a lot because it means we get to move on to the next round. We shoutout their team. Obviously it's a good team but obviously today we came out with a win. I just want to say it was a good game.
Q. Fatts, any key you can point to to really get Cyril going right off the bat?
FATTS RUSSELL: There was no real key. Me and him in the pick-and-roll is I think lethal. He reads me well and I read him well. It's just what we do on pick-and-roll.
Q. You have a chance to play VCU again. How fresh in your mind is that loss down there a couple weeks ago?
JEFF DOWTIN: It is definitely very fresh in my mind. We've been circling this game since we knew our seed in the A-10 Tournament. It's going to be a dogfight, but I feel like my guys are going to be ready for it.
Q. Fatts, can you talk about how hot this team is playing right now over the last five games, and what you guys have done to put things together the way you guys have?
FATTS RUSSELL: It's all confidence. We had a team meeting I think after the Davidson loss and we told each other that we are not going to lack confidence anymore.
It started with us three right here, gathering the young guys together, and we just told them we are rocking with them till the end. That's just how we're playing lately.
Q. Jeff, this can be a tough stage for a lot of teams coming in. Can you speak to how comfortable you guys are playing in games like these?
JEFF DOWTIN: Has to do with a lot of experience. We've been in the A-10 Championship these last two years, so we've been here before. We know the position we're in. We know what it takes to win and we've got these three guys right here that we're just going to go out here and lead our young guys and hopefully just put them under our wing.
Q. Over the weekend, you said Rhode Island is all about championships coming into this weekend. What makes this group different than maybe the other teams in the A-10?
FATTS RUSSELL: We have three -- no, we have four guys on our team that actually won a championship before. We're experienced and we know what it takes to win championships.
Q. Cyril, what does it mean to you to come close to home and have the performance that you did today?
CYRIL LANGEVINE: It's been awhile since I've been back home. Obviously my family came out here so I know I had to go out there and play hard and stay focused and try to get the win.
But it's always a pleasure to come back home and play in front of the home crowd.
Q. The players have done this before, but this is your first postseason game as a head coach. Any different feel today in any different thoughts coming into a game like this?
COACH DAVID COX: No, not at all. No, no. I've been a part of this program for the last five years. We played in some big games, NCAA games. We've played in championship games.
So no, I prepared myself for this. I felt very comfortable today. The way we've been playing basketball, I've felt comfortable with this group, particularly these three guys, as well as Christion Thompson. I just felt they had been locked in and they were going to play well today.
So with that, using that as kind of a comfort zone, I came out here and felt pretty positive.
Q. Coach, can you talk about the confidence that this team has over the last four or five games now in heading into this tournament?
COACH DAVID COX: We have a tremendous amount of confidence, and again, I think it started back with that Davidson loss, you know, where our guys started to see the ball go in a little bit and they kept competing and kept fighting, and ever, ever since then, the ball has started to go into the basket. As Fatts mentioned, you know, they decided on their own that they were going to not give in; that they were going to continue to fight; that they were going to be as confident of basketball players as they have been in the past, and once they made that decision, they have taken a big leap forward, and, you know, this is the product of it.
Q. Coach, we know how good Fatts is as a scorer. He's a microwave; he can get hot, but as a facilitator he ties his career-high in assist. Did you like him taking what the defense gave him?
COACH DAVID COX: He did. I thought he did an outstanding job of just getting downhill. He's so aggressive with the basketball and such a great scorer that when he gets into the paint he causes people to come to him.
When that happened today, he was making the right decisions, and I was really proud of that effort. He had five assists and zero turnovers at the half and we made a point of mentioning that to him. I just thought he had a good -- a good overall game. I thought his defensive game on Traci Carter was really solid, as well.
Q. You seem to have great numbers whenever I'm in the building. Talk about playing in a game like this in front of this type of crowd.
COACH DAVID COX: Yeah, well, The Voice, you know what, I've always -- I'm going to make sure that you're with me for the rest of this way. Does that sound good?
No, this building's been good. This building's been good to us. Again, what an arena, the Barclays. It's an NBA arena, and I think our guys get up to play in this particular arena.
Q. It seems like T.J. has been more vocal on the sidelines, in particular, since Coach Carroll has been sidelined. How important has he been to kind of just keeping that consistency with your coaching staff and him stepping up from director of basketball operations to interim assistant coach, if you will?
COACH DAVID COX: Sure. It's like the old one-man-down thing. You know, one man down and everybody else has to step up. Not only T.J. but everybody on the staff has stepped up.
But specifically talking about T.J., you remember him as a player. He was a grinder as a player and he's a grinder here as a coach. He's been tremendous. Great communication ability with the players. He can relate. He's dove almost into the scouts. He seems like a natural, so I'm really proud of him. He's done a phenomenal job, just a phenomenal job.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports